From June 17 to June 23 Newbury will be going giant crazy.
Following on from the success of 2011’s giant Insect Procession and Page Blanche and December’s Lantern Procession, the Corn Exchange will be collaborating with Irish outdoor theatre company, Macnas to present its most ambitious and exciting outdoor production yet, The Berkshire Giant, which will involve local people at every stage of its creation and staging. It’s going to be huge!
The Berkshire Giant is inspired by the local legend of the Aldworth Giants – 600 year old stone effigies that lie in the village Church of Aldworth, just outside Newbury.
It will tell the story of John Ever Afraid, a gentle giant who has been hiding from the Devil in the walls of Aldworth Church. John’s story will unfold over seven days in different locations across West Berkshire using a mind-blowing combination of giant puppetry, carnival parade, art installations, music and performance.
Local schools and residents of the community have already begun to engage in participatory activities, some of which will run alongside the main series of events.
The programme includes poetry workshops for adults led by performance poet Steve Larkin, a creative writing competition and a young film- makers project. During and after the production week, some of the work produced will be exhibited in the foyer and gallery areas of the Corn Exchange from 17 – 28 June. Local people are also being recruited to be performers, form part of the production crew or to steward at the Berkshire Giant events.
Awarded the Inspire mark from London 2012 as part of the Cultural Olympiad, The Berkshire Giant Project is presented by the Corn Exchange and is supported by Arts Council England, Greenham Common Trust and West Berkshire Council.
BERKSHIRE GIANT TIMETABLE
ALDWORTH GIANT FAIR
Aldworth Village Sunday 17 June, 12-4pm - A day of music, feasting and entertainment launching the story.
INVOCATIONS AND RITUALS ON ANCIENT SNELSMORE COMMON
HOSTED BY THE ANCIENT ORDER OF THE ELK
Wednesday 20 June, 9.45pm - A mysterious gathering at dusk on Solstice Eve, where those that support the giant use drums, voices and images to invoke ancient spirit beasts to come to his aid.
JOHN'S FINAL FOOTSTEPS
Market Place, Newbury
Saturday 23rd June, 10pm - The denouement of our story, as John's pursuers finally catch up with him in a nighttime carnival parade of fire, mischief and old time rock and roll.
Visit http://www.cornexchangenew.com where you can find out more info or how to get involved.